Luigi Maggi

Sogno di un tramonto d’autunno
R: Luigi Maggi. B: Gabriele D’Annunzio (play), Arrigo Frusta (screenplay). K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Antonietta Calderari, Mary Cléo Tarlarini, Mario Voller Buzzi, Gigetta Morano, Oreste Grandi, Paolo Azzurri, Lola Visconti Brignone, Filippo Costamagna, Ernesto Vaser, Ercole Vaser, Giuseppina Ronco. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino (serie d’Oro). It 1911
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema/EYE Filmmuseum (Desmetcolor)
German intertitles

“Gradeniga, the Doge’s widow, lives withdrawn in a palace on the river of the Brenta. In the sunset of an autumn evening she looks, in the grip of a mortal anguish, beyond the gate, waiting for the ship to pass, on which the rival Pantea takes her the love of the beautiful Orseolo away. Before the fall of night, Pentella, the waitress of the Dogaressa, conducts into the palace the sorceress Schiavona, an expert of spells. The celebration of a deadly ritual starts: a great glare on the river signalizes the fire on the ship and the dead of the two lovers.”
European Film Gateway

“This is in no sense a picture of a dream. In it, another of D’Annuncio’s tragic scenarios is set forth in beautiful pictures. The action is supposed to take place in Venice at the time of her glory. The story deals with thwarted passion and the terrible vengeance the neglected woman wreaked upon her supplanter in the affections of a count. (…) The photographs and lighting are perfect and give what might be termed a literary atmosphere to the scenes that is very pleasing. The scenes themselves are artfully constructed and add greatly to the picture. The quality of the acting of these well- known Ambrosio players needs no comment, but it is remarkably fine. Exhibitors will make no mistake in featuring this picture; but they should be careful to add a light comedy to go with it in the bill, as this picture is certainly very tragic. It is, however, among the strongest pictures, if not the strongest, of the week. It is certainly the most artistic.”
The Moving Picture World, January 20, 1912

La nave dei leoni (The Ship of Lions)
R: Luigi Maggi. K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Mario Bonnard, Gigetta Morano, Vitale De Stefano, Antonio Grisanti, Paolo Azzurri, Alfred Schneider. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. It 1912
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema / EYE
Dutch titles

“A brigantine is carrying some lions from Africa destined for a zoo in Europe. The lions are held under control by a tamer, Jeannette. During the journey, the shady business manager, Johnson, falls in love with Jeannette, but she does not correspond, and doesn’t like his attentions. In fact she loves Jack, the ship’s captain, who becomes her lover. Johnson, driven crazy with jealousy, wants to take revenge on Jack. Assaulted by the sailors, triggered by Johnson, Jack defends himself by firing his revolver, and he and Jeannette take refuge in the hold. Then he sets the ship on fire, and eventually they manage to reach a lifeboat.”
European Film Gateway

“In 1909 – 1910, Ambrosio cameraman Giovanni Vitrotti shot films there (i.e. in Russia) and contributed to the beginnings of Russian film production. In 1912 Ambrosio hired lion tamer Alfred Schneider and his lions for a series of sensational melodramas such as La nave dei leoni.”
Giorgio Bertellini in: Richard Abel: Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Routledge. London/New York 2005, p. 19

More films by Luigi Maggi on this site:
>>> Maciste, Italy’s Fairbanks,   Extraordinary: Saturnino, Italy 1913   Blockbusters from Italy

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Luigi Maggi